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U.S. Jewelry, Watch Sales +6%

Sales Growth for January is Revised Higher

Mar 28, 2014 12:22 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... U.S. jewelry and watch sales improved in February, according to preliminary statistics, and they were revised slightly higher for January. Sales of jewelry and watches combined increased 6.4 percent year on year in February as measured across all retail segments and the rate of growth was similar to the increase one year ago. Government figures reflected sector growth of 3.6 percent in January, following a preliminary increase of 1.3 percent. (Read more after the chart.)

jewelry and watch

Jewelry sales in February increased 6 percent year on year to $5.852 billion, while watch sales improved 8.9 percent to $783 million, according to Rapaport News estimates.  Meanwhile, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) for jewelry February declined 2.6 percent, the lowest index reading to be posted since March 2011. The CPI for watches was basically flat, up by just 0.6 percent during February.

Specific sales data from U.S. jewelry stores in February will be reported separately  in the weeks to come; however, January's increase of nearly 7 percent was a promising start of the year.  (Read more after the chart.)

sales of watches

Meanwhile, advanced sales estimates for U.S. department stores in February fell 5.2 percent year on year to $11.787 billion. However, U.S. retail and food services sales increased 1.5 percent year on year to $427.2 billion. Retail trade sales improved 1.3 percent and nonstore retailers experienced  sales growth of 6.3 percent compared with February 2013.

By comparison, retail sales in Japan improved 3.6 percent in February in part due to strong sales of cars, jewelry, gold and machinery. Japan will implement a sales tax rate of 8 percent, up from 5 percent, on April 1, which likely spurred on consumer purchases of big ticket items. The Financial Times reported that  Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewellery has experienced a 530 percent increase in the sale of precious metals leading up to the new tax increase.

In the U.K., retail sales, excluding fuel, rose 4.2 percent year on year in February, while the average price of goods declined 0.2 percent. Analysts where surprised by the strong increase, but they concluded that a strong housing market and rising employment were likely reassuring enough to encourage consumers to spend.

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Tags: department stores, inflation, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, revenue, sales, u.s., watch
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